(Update 1: Adds the Russian response)
Beijing, Mar 14 (EFE).- China and Russia on Monday denied media reports that Moscow had asked for military support amid its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The Financial Times, CNN and New York Times were among media outlets quoting United States government officials saying that Moscow requested aid from Beijing after it began its full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24.
The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the reports during a press conference Monday.
“Russia possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation,” he said, insisting that the operation was going to plan, Russian news agencies reported.
Earlier in the day, the China slammed the US reports.
“It is completely false, it is pure disinformation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press conference.
“China has clearly and consistently stated its position on the crisis in Ukraine. We play a constructive role and assess the situation impartially and independently. Denigrating China’s position is not acceptable,” he added.
The US officials, according to the media, said that China might have already responded to its ally’s request and warned the East Asian country would face a global isolation if such support was provided.
The New York Times reported that Moscow had also asked China for additional economic aid to counterbalance the harsh sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union.
So far, China’s government has not condemned Russia’s assault and has refrained from calling it an “invasion,” but insisted on “respect for the territorial integrity of all countries” and that attention should be paid to Russia’s “legitimate security demands.”
The Chinese spokesman also said that Beijing opposed unilateral sanctions because “they do not bring peace and security” but rather serious economic difficulties to the inhabitants of affected countries.
China and Russia “have always maintained solid cooperation in the field of energy” and “will continue to carry out trade cooperation that includes gas and oil,” Zhao explained.
The reports came ahead of a meeting between a high-level US delegation led by president Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, and China’s top foreign official Yang Jiechi in Rome, Italy.EFE